ILLAWARRA AND SHOALHAVEN - 29 March 2017 - Global entrepreneurial hub Inspiring Rare Birds is launching its nationwide Ambassador events program for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven today, with local entrepreneur, Illawarra Businesswoman of the Year and Rare Birds Ambassador Lisa Burling, Founder and Managing Director of LBPR.
Rare Birds was launched in 2015, after its Founder and CEO Jo Burston travelled around to schools in Australia asking young girls what they thought an entrepreneur was. The majority of them had no idea and the few that did answered, “a man”. Walking away from that determined to create change and opportunity for women in entrepreneurship, Jo created Rare Birds with the vision to see a global community of 1 million women entrepreneurs by 2020, and the mission to
give every woman globally the opportunity to become an entrepreneur by choice.
Jo says the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions have been on her radar for some time, with her strong belief that entrepreneurship should be a choice that’s available to women globally not just to those in big cities where resources are plentiful.
"Entrepreneurs learn from each other, and the notion of solving each other’s problems can occur anywhere, as long as there is a way to connect. The most powerful way of achieving this is face to face, within a community" she says.
“Lisa Burling is an exceptional entrepreneur. She totally embodies the values of Rare Birds, with her genuine connection to community, passion for women entrepreneurship and desire to not simply send the elevator back down, but to fill it with the tools and resources Rare Birds offers to help other women grow themselves and their businesses,” she says.
City of Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery OAM comments: "I was honoured to attend the launch of the Rare Birds program in the Illawarra and delighted to see one of our own ‘rare birds’ and Illawarra Businesswoman of the Year, Lisa Burling, take flight as its Ambassador. With 20 years’ experience in public relations and media, Lisa’s award-winning career is an inspiration to women everywhere."
“Lisa epitomises the vision and values of Rare Birds and I know will be a vibrant and enthusiastic role model for any woman looking to fly the nest and become an entrepreneur.”
Rare Birds has some of the world’s leading female entrepreneurs in their community including Melanie Perkins of Canva, Jo Horgan of Mecca Brands, and Kristina Karlsson of Kikki K
The Rare Birds Ambassador events program enables people running their own businesses – from startups to global companies to connect with high calibre entrepreneurs and individuals in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region. The first event was held on Wednesday 29th March at Lagoon Restaurant. The events will provide entrepreneurs with the learning, tools and resources they
need to handle the real-life challenges they face in their businesses right now.
As Illawarra and Shoalhaven’s local Ambassador, Lisa says, “Being recognised as a Rare Birds Ambassador, standing amongst women I admire enormously including Jo, is an amazing honour. I believe that geographical location is no limit to the dreams women can realise both professionally and personally. Rare Birds equips, encourages and enables women entrepreneurs to be all they can be, backed by a global network of highly driven and passionate women – and men – who want to leave the world better than when we arrived.”
“For the Illawarra and Shoalhaven to have direct connectivity to the powerhouse that is Inspiring Rare Birds is a gift and I am dedicated to ensuring our region makes the most of this opportunity.”
At the launch event in Wollongong attendees met Lisa Burling and Jo Burston to learn how to become involved in the Rare Birds community. They also had immediate access to mentoring, funding and education opportunities through Rare Birds’ programs.
Rare Birds’ Global Ambassadors are currently placed in seven states, with the plan to be in every state and further rural and regional areas by the end of 2016. To exceed their vision of one million women entrepreneurs in its community by 2020, Rare Birds aims to place 100 Ambassadors globally by the end of 2017, which will see as many as 500 events per year throughout Australia, Asia, the UK and US.
"Women and men of all diversities see the importance of creating social and economic impact in their region with entrepreneurship being the vehicle to do so. We have been totally blown away by the support for Rare Birds and the people putting up their hand to drive local participation of entrepreneurship," says Jo Burston.